Veils, everywhere float veils; veils long and black,
Framing white faces, oft-times young and fair,
But, like a rose touched by untimely frost,
Showing the blighting marks of sorrow's track.
Veils, veils, veils everywhere. They tell the cost
Of man-made war. They show the awful toll
Paid by the hearts of women for the crimes,
The age-old crimes by selfishness ill-named
"Justice" and "Honour" and "The call of Fate"--
High words men use to hide their low estate.
About the joy and beauty of this world
A long black veil is furled.
Even the face of Heaven itself seems lost
Behind a veil. It takes a fervent soul
In these tense times
To visualise a God so long defamed
By insolent lips, that send out prayers, and prate
Of God's collaboration in dark deeds,
So foul they put to shame the fiends of hell.
Yet One does dwell
In Secret Centres of the Universe--
The Mighty Maker; and He hears and heeds
The still small voice of soulful, selfless faith;
And He is lifting now the veil of death,
So long down-dropped between those worlds and earth.
Yea! He is giving faith a great new birth
By letting echoes from the hidden places
Where dwell our dead, fall on love's listening ear.
Hearken, and you shall hear
The messages which come from those star-spaces!
That is the reason why
God let so many die;
That the vast hordes of suffering hearts might wake
Mighty vibrations, and the silence break
Between the neighbouring worlds, and lift the veil
'Twixt life on earth, and life Beyond. All hail
To great Jehovah, Who has given life
Eternal, everlasting, after strife!
Veils, long black veils, you shall be bridal white.
Eyes, blind with tears, you shall receive your sight,
And see your dead alive in Worlds of Light.
Hello, Boys! by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay and Hancock, 1919.
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